WFTB Score: 2/20
The plot: On a trip to Amsterdam with his dead wife’s leg, ‘man-whore’ Deuce runs into his former pimp TJ. But on his first night a renowned prosti-dude is murdered and TJ becomes the prime suspect; it is up to Deuce, aided only by police chief’s daughter Eva and a black book of ‘she-johns,’ to prove his friend’s innocence.
If you are not doubled-up with laughter at the vocabulary used in the plot description above, I fear Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo will not be the film for you. For terms such as ‘man-whore,’ ‘she-johns,’ ‘he-pussy’ and ‘mangina’ are the comedy foundation on which this sequel is built. I have not seen the first Male Gigolo film (I know: what could possibly have been more important?), but I am guessing that the terms were already trotted out in that film, together with elaborate sexual techniques such as the ‘Filthy Lopez’ and ‘Portuguese Breakfast.’
In terms of plot, there’s not a great deal more to say. Simple soul Deuce (Rob Schneider) barely has time to take in the delights of ‘Spacecake’ at an Amsterdam coffee bar (featuring all the traditional stereotypes and a hallucination with Kelly Brook, failing to act as per usual) with his old pimp TJ (Eddie Griffin) before the well-hung gigolo Heinz Hummler is murdered by a whistling killer.
Due to an unfortunate coincidence, TJ becomes the prime suspect in the eyes of police chief Gaspar Voorsboch (Jeroen Krabbé) and is forced to go on the run, leading Deuce into the company of the Gigolo Union before he disappears. Armed with the Union’s book of clients, Deuce reluctantly agrees to date them all to try to track down the killer, disrupting the time he wants to spend with obsessive-compulsive Eva (Hanna Verboom) who cannot hear a bell ring without it setting off some alarming ritual or other.
Predictably, the whodunit element of the film is almost completely irrelevant, a hook to hang the jokes on – TJ is rarely more than ten yards away from Deuce throughout in a series of “hilarious” disguises, so can barely be considered to be in hiding. The jokes come in two main forms: Firstly, TJ is caught in a number of compromising situations that not only make him more suspicious as the killer, but suggest that he is gay. The film-makers must be very pleased that post-irony is now a valid comic tool, because otherwise TJ’s repugnance at the thought of being gay would be considered homophobic in the extreme.
The second joke is that all of the women are freaks, in one way or another. Eva’s compulsions are cute because she is a hot blonde, but the ‘she-johns’ are, variously, an infertile giantess; a woman with a tracheotomy hole (through which cigarette smoke from her trachea and wine from her oesophagus spews out); a hunchback; and a veiled lady from Chernobyl with a penis for a nose which ejaculates when she sneezes (in a restaurant, naturally). And before you ask, yes, the tracheotomy-lady and penis-lady do meet, and yes, the film does go there.
It’s difficult to know what the film is trying to say about women, but the fact that none of them are allowed to be ‘normal’ is quite instructive. You can argue that Deuce himself is quite sweet in the way he helps them, but all it actually does is emphasise the fact that Schneider himself is terribly bland, a curly-haired little runt with none of the personality (say) Jim Carrey would have brought to the role, not that he would have thought of the role in the first place.
And not all of Deuce’s help is particularly inspired: he pushes his ‘dirty’ date into a canal – she emerges as lovely pop starlet Rachel Stevens! The woman with a penis for a nose goes to a plastic surgeon – and comes out with larger breasts! Way to confound our expectations, Rob. In his scenes with Eva, Bigalow is a sad-eyed, stupid little puppy, and it is entirely predictable that whilst Deuce considers it perfectly fine to do his job, the idea that his girl might be a porn star sends him into a fury; but of course the film is not brave enough to go there, and makes her (completely redundantly) a set designer instead.
As a Briton, it was disturbing to see so many familiar names in the cast list: apart from Brook and Stevens, there are appearances from presenters (and fellow non-actors) Alex Zane and Johnny Vaughan, amongst others – presumably the lure of working in a ‘Hollywood’ film overrode any qualms about it being offensive rubbish. Still, it’s not really worth getting worked up over a film that is made so cheaply that it lets in a newspaper with the headline that reads ‘gayer then we thought.’
It doesn’t like gays, is extremely stereotypical about Europeans and black people, and actually doesn’t like women much either. The product of nasty, puerile minds, European Gigolo is rated ‘15’ in the UK, meaning that most of the people who might find it funny won’t be able to see it for another five years, by which time they will probably have developed more sophisticated tastes.